Orator vs. test

Hey guys, help me parse this bit of the rules:

“In a versus test, use Orator against Orator and Will (with Beginner’s Luck). You could also use Orator versus Orator to compete with another person to get the attention of a crowd.”

So in our game last night, a character speaks to a crowd to try to sway them not to attack. I think I misread this first sentence, but am I reading it right are they testing their Orator vs. the crowd’s Orator? Or their Will halved if they don’t have it?

This is one of those things where in the moment I was flustered and I made a bad rules call, but want to make sure I have it right now. (I misunderstood the statement “use Orator against Orator and Will” and thought the defender got to pool skill and stat, which seemed weird at the time but I rolled with it).

It could be written more clearly.

You’re reading it correctly now. The PCs test Orator against the crowd’s Orator. If the crowd doesn’t have Orator, they test with Beginner’s Luck.

As I understand it, you can explain that in one of two ways.

First, the crowd sees through your oratory technique because they know how it works.

Second, the collective Orator skill means that people in the crowd shout back, swaying the masses more than you do.

Does the crowd help each other then, or do you pick an exemplar? It would certainly seem odd if trying to convince 100 people meant they rolled 100+ dice…